notre dame montreal

Jesus the Name


Why was Jesus called Jesus?

Family Service talk on Christmas Day by The Reverend Charles Royden

I was intrigued this last week to be told that the real name of Anton du Beke from Strictly Come Dancing is is actually Tony Beak. He has changed his name to something which sounds much more appropriate for a national dancing star. Names are quite important aren’t they? Sometimes our given names are not great and people change them. You can of course be called anything you like, you just go and get a Deed Poll completed, pay £30 and you could be called anything.

Do you remember the episode on X factor when there was somebody auditioning called Storm ? After Storm Lee's audition, Simon Cowell refused to call Storm by his legal name, which Storm changed by Deed Poll when he was younger.  Simon didn't think Storm was his real name since it wasn't his birth name.  Simon then asked Cheryl if he changed his name to Lightning, would Cheryl call him by this name?  She rightly said she would and to make the point she later gave Simon a Deed Poll to change his name to Lightning, which he signed but refused to give back !

There are lots of people who have changed their name
Stuart Goddard = adam ant
Boris Karloff – William Henry Pratt
Boy George – George Alan O’Dowd
Cary Grant – Archibald Alexander Leach
Cary Grant – Archibald Alexander Leach
Cilla Black – Priscilla White
Dean Martin – Dino Crocetti
Doris Day – Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff
Elton John – Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Frankie Valli – Francis Castelluccio
Freddie Mercury – Faroukh Bulsara
Ginger Rogers – Virginia Katherine McMath
Greta Garbo – Greta Lovisa Gustafsson
John Wayne – Marion Michael Morrison
Judy Garland – Frances Gumm
Mother Teresa – Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu

Which brings us to Jesus ! His name was very important, so important that God gave him the name.

We read in Matthew
"But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins'" (Matthew 1:20-21).

Why did Jesus come into the world? Why was he born? Well his name tells us what Jesus is about. Jesus came to save people from sin.

The name Jesus means ‘The Lord saves’

This is a very important thing for us to remember and it is seen in the very name which we are told God chose for Jesus in the first place and gave to Joseph
We need to remember that when he was born, Jesus was a very common name. But that was no reason not to chose it because it held out the purpose of what
God was doing.

Several names are all basically the same
Today we say Jesus, in the Old Testament the same name in Hebrew Yeshua, or as we now say Joshua

Now did Jesus have a second name ?
No he did not, people in those days did not have second names. He would have been Jesus son of Joseph. Or sometimes, Jesus of Nazareth, because that is where he came from. So, elsewhere in the New Testament, "Judas Iscariot" is "Judas of Kerioth"; "Mary Magdalene" is "Mary of Magdala"; and "Simon bar-Jona" is "Simon son of John."

Some might think that Jesus is the first name and Christ is the second name, but tThe word Christ, Christos, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Messias, means "anointed." The term Christ or Messias was a title rather than a proper name: Only after the Resurrection did the title gradually pass into a proper name.

So we need to remember at Christmas that God gave Jesus his name because through Jesus, God was saving the world. Jesus was 'the Christ' the chosen one to bring salvation to the world.